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They raised the kitchen ceiling, pushed out the back wall.

Part of the ceiling in this remodeled Berkeley kitchen rises the full height of the hip roof, creating a dramatic light and ventilation shaft. The raised ceiling accentuates the room's light and airy quality, helping to make it the place where owners Susan and Harry Dennis want to spend much of their time.

Designer and contractor Thomas Nowell notes that the original kitchen suffered from several major drawbacks: "It was cut off from the back yard by a laundry area and half-bath, and there was no convenient access to the back door." Nowell's solution was to relocate the laundry and bathroom to one side and push out the kitchen's back wall 5-1/2 feet.

This gained enough space for a small back porch and separate work and dining areas, divided by a 3- by 5-foot butcher-block island. Nowell included a built-in desk and a marble pastry counter at the dining end of the new 14- by 21-foot kitchen.

Overhead downlights above the counters add extra illumination for work areas. All the birch plywood cabinets were painted white to reflect light.

The skylight in the sloping section of ceiling over the sink can be pushed open to air out the room. Above the flat section is a storage attic accessible through the adjacent laundry room.
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Date:Jun 1, 1985
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